TRN impressions thread
Jan 15, 2021 at 7:27 AM Post #2,552 of 2,768

Nimweth

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I have been listening to the VX. I had been using a hybrid cable and narrow bore tips, and had done the micropore tape mod. I am now using a Faaeal Hibiscus copper cable and Spiral Dots size ML. After this I was able to remove the tape as it took away some of the detail and 'air' which is now restored. The detail, separation and layering are superb now and classical music sounds amazing. In Borodin's String Quartet No. 2 the counterpoint and interplay between the instruments has never sounded better. Definitely worth tip and cable rolling with these!
 
Jan 16, 2021 at 6:42 PM Post #2,553 of 2,768

backdrifter

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I have been listening to the VX. I had been using a hybrid cable and narrow bore tips, and had done the micropore tape mod. I am now using a Faaeal Hibiscus copper cable and Spiral Dots size ML. After this I was able to remove the tape as it took away some of the detail and 'air' which is now restored. The detail, separation and layering are superb now and classical music sounds amazing. In Borodin's String Quartet No. 2 the counterpoint and interplay between the instruments has never sounded better. Definitely worth tip and cable rolling with these!
I agree. I've been planning on posting something about how impressed I am by the technical capabilities of the VX. I understand why these didn't gain more traction; the tuning choices weren't great. But I'm using some equalization to remedy that problem, and the end result is indeed amazing for classical music. Post coming soon!
 
Jan 17, 2021 at 1:11 PM Post #2,554 of 2,768

Nimweth

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I agree. I've been planning on posting something about how impressed I am by the technical capabilities of the VX. I understand why these didn't gain more traction; the tuning choices weren't great. But I'm using some equalization to remedy that problem, and the end result is indeed amazing for classical music. Post coming soon!
I do understand what you said about the tuning, but I am not particularly treble sensitive and do not like using EQ. I find experimenting with cables, tips and source the best way to extract the maximum from a set of IEMs. There is a section of the Borodin where the cello is playing pizzicato, the viola is tremelando and the two violins are displaying the melody. This passage was absolutely wonderful on the VX, via an Xduoo X20.
 
Jan 17, 2021 at 8:33 PM Post #2,555 of 2,768

backdrifter

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I have a few thoughts to share about recent IEMs in the TRN lineup. When the BA5 was introduced, I bought those and enjoyed them, so I was an early adopter for the BA8 despite the price jump. I wrote an enthusiastic review of them for this community. Black Friday brought a crazy low price for the V90S, which seemed to be better received than the BA8, so I couldn't resist. After realizing that that set could be improved a lot with EQ, I got the VX to see if that had some hidden potential as well. Was it was worth the extra money despite its piercing reputation? So just like that, I had a TRN collection sitting next to me. Let's compare! To provide a useful yardstick, I'll throw the Etymotic ER4SR into the mix. I'll try to suppress my tendency toward prolix and just hit a few points.

2021-01-17 19.11.17.jpg


Personal preference without EQ:
ER4SR>BA8>BA5>VX>V90S
ER4SR is clean-sounding with superior timbral reproduction. BA8 has more treble sparkle, bass, and soundstage, but is less clear in the mids and bass. BA5 is inoffensive but a little boring. VX and V90S have colorless yet emphasized upper mids and treble, with the V90S being the worse offender. Not good.

Personal preference with EQ:
VX>V90S>ER4SR>BA8>BA5
VX has excellent soundstage and resolution. Timbral accuracy is best of the bunch. V90S sounds very clear and spacious but high frequencies are still thin- and synthetic-sounding. ER4SR sounds lovely in less busy passages but can't keep up in complex passages, with a clear loss of information, especially in the highs and lows. BA8 sounds a little congested but soundstage and resolution in the higher frequencies are still quite nice. BA5 is comparatively dull-sounding and uncompetitive, but still nice.

Reflections:
TRN quality control bit me for the first time during my comparison, but now I can at least confirm the BAs in the nozzle.
2021-01-17 17.55.44.jpg

V90S has that, too. To my ear, it seems like it might be significant that the V90S uses the Bellsing 30019 while the VX uses the 30095. TRN took flak for putting BAs in the nozzle and the resulting shrillness, but that move seems to have an upside in improved resolution. Isn't it part of Etymotic's strategy to put a BA as close to the eardrum as possible for that reason? EQ can turn the fatal flow of the VX/V90S into an asset for me. The single BA of the ER4SR is probably holding Etymotic back at this point, and it seems they agree.

The ER4SR has been highly praised and I don't recall reading any complaints about their pricing - quite the opposite, actually. But the BA8 has its charms so its price doesn't seem outlandish. If you are willing to use some EQ, however, a dollar goes farther with the VX and the V90S, in my opinion. However, the ER4SR isolates much better than the others (BA8 is next best), and for less complex music, it sounds lovely. I'll get more use out of it for sure.

I resisted using EQ in the past because the IEMs I tried it with weren't helped by it all that much. The VX and the V90S are a different story. Having noted all the money people spend to find a set with the right tuning, I think I'll settle for a very tunable and capable IEM like the VX for a while and spend the difference on my music collection. At least until the next sale. :beyersmile:

I used the TempoTec Sonata HD Pro and USB Audio Player Pro with the Toneboosters parametric EQ plug-in.

1/18/21 edit: I think the BA5 should be at the bottom of that first list, too. It's just less capable, and the faults of the un-EQed VX and V90S tunings are counterbalanced by other assets.
 
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Jan 17, 2021 at 9:44 PM Post #2,556 of 2,768

baskingshark

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I have a few thoughts to share about recent IEMs in the TRN lineup. When the BA5 was introduced, I bought those and enjoyed them, so I was an early adopter for the BA8 despite the price jump. I wrote an enthusiastic review of them for this community. Black Friday brought a crazy low price for the V90S, which seemed to be better received than the BA8, so I couldn't resist. After realizing that that set could be improved a lot with EQ, I got the VX to see if that had some hidden potential as well. Was it was worth the extra money despite its piercing reputation? So just like that, I had a TRN collection sitting next to me. Let's compare! To provide a useful yardstick, I'll throw the Etymotic ER4SR into the mix. I'll try to suppress my tendency toward prolix and just hit a few points.



Personal preference without EQ:
ER4SR>BA8>BA5>VX>V90S
ER4SR is clean-sounding with superior timbral reproduction. BA8 has more treble sparkle, bass, and soundstage, but is less clear in the mids and bass. BA5 is inoffensive but a little boring. VX and V90S have colorless yet emphasized upper mids and treble, with the V90S being the worse offender. Not good.

Personal preference with EQ:
VX>V90S>ER4SR>BA8>BA5
VX has excellent soundstage and resolution. Timbral accuracy is best of the bunch. V90S sounds very clear and spacious but high frequencies are still thin- and synthetic-sounding. ER4SR sounds lovely in less busy passages but can't keep up in complex passages, with a clear loss of information, especially in the highs and lows. BA8 sounds a little congested but soundstage and resolution in the higher frequencies are still quite nice. BA5 is comparatively dull-sounding and uncompetitive, but still nice.

Reflections:
TRN quality control bit me for the first time during my comparison, but now I can at least confirm the BAs in the nozzle.

V90S has that, too. To my ear, it seems like it might be significant that the V90S uses the Bellsing 30019 while the VX uses the 30095. TRN took flak for putting BAs in the nozzle and the resulting shrillness, but that move seems to have an upside in improved resolution. Isn't it part of Etymotic's strategy to put a BA as close to the eardrum as possible for that reason? EQ can turn the fatal flow of the VX/V90S into an asset for me. The single BA of the ER4SR is probably holding Etymotic back at this point, and it seems they agree.

The ER4SR has been highly praised and I don't recall reading any complaints about their pricing - quite the opposite, actually. But the BA8 has its charms so its price doesn't seem outlandish. If you are willing to use some EQ, however, a dollar goes farther with the VX and the V90S, in my opinion. However, the ER4SR isolates much better than the others (BA8 is next best), and for less complex music, it sounds lovely. I'll get more use out of it for sure.

I resisted using EQ in the past because the IEMs I tried it with weren't helped by it all that much. The VX and the V90S are a different story. Having noted all the money people spend to find a set with the right tuning, I think I'll settle for a very tunable and capable IEM like the VX for a while and spend the difference on my music collection. At least until the next sale. :beyersmile:

I used the TempoTec Sonata HD Pro and USB Audio Player Pro with the Toneboosters parametric EQ plug-in.

Thanks for the comparisons.

My 2 cents is that TRN didn't do well for the year of 2020, when compared with other CHIFI competitors. Let's ignore the $15000 USD golden TRN, but for TRN VX and BA8, their more expensive sets, they did not get generally good reviews/impressions, in terms of tonality and tuning. TRN VX and BA8 gets an average of 3.5 stars (cummulative reviews) on headfi. No doubt these 2 sets have great technicalities and boast a high driver count, but the issue is that users who buy at this higher price range will want a usable IEM OOTB, without the need to do micropore mods or EQ to "salvage" the stock tuning. I did find both these 2 TRNs very technical, but they were too hot and fatiguing in the upper mids/treble with sibilance in stock form, and the TRN BA8 has a very hollow lower mids. But I guess upper mids/treble tolerances may vary based on hearing health, volume used at (Fletcher Munson curve), plus perhaps pinna gain (ear anatomy), sources used etc. And perhaps some value technicalities over tonality.

If TRN released their usual $30 – 50 USD fare, the expectations will be lower (eg for the TRN V90S), but now that they try to muscle into the $100ish USD pie (TRN VX was $90ish at launch, TRN BA8 was $140ish), folks who buy at this range are a bit more picky. At this price, there's seriously tough competition against esteemed bigboys such as the TRI I3, NM2+, ISN H40, Fiio FH3, TRI Starsea, ThieAudio gear, Shozy Form 1.4, KBEAR BElieve etc just to name a few. By itself, the TRN VX and BA8 aren't that bad, but when compared with a similarly priced competitor, I do find there's better value in these other sets. Not to mention the accessories provided in these 2 TRNs are quite disgraceful for the price (well accessories ain't as important as the sound, but I've honestly seen $30 IEMs with better packaging than the BA8 and VX).

But it's not only TRN though. Their archrival KZ also flopped when attacking the $100ish bracket this year with the ASX, but that set was whacked in reviews for having a too early treble roll off, rather than being too bright.
 
Jan 17, 2021 at 9:58 PM Post #2,557 of 2,768

alamnp

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Thanks for the comparisons.

My 2 cents is that TRN didn't do well for the year of 2020, when compared with other CHIFI competitors. Let's ignore the $15000 USD golden TRN, but for TRN VX and BA8, their more expensive sets, they did not get generally good reviews/impressions, in terms of tonality and tuning. TRN VX and BA8 gets an average of 3.5 stars (cummulative reviews) on headfi. No doubt these 2 sets have great technicalities and boast a high driver count, but the issue is that users who buy at this higher price range will want a usable IEM OOTB, without the need to do micropore mods or EQ to "salvage" the stock tuning. I did find both these 2 TRNs very technical, but they were too hot and fatiguing in the upper mids/treble with sibilance in stock form, and the TRN BA8 has a very hollow lower mids. But I guess upper mids/treble tolerances may vary based on hearing health, volume used at (Fletcher Munson curve), plus perhaps pinna gain (ear anatomy), sources used etc. And perhaps some value technicalities over tonality.

If TRN released their usual $30 – 50 USD fare, the expectations will be lower (eg for the TRN V90S), but now that they try to muscle into the $100ish USD pie (TRN VX was $90ish at launch, TRN BA8 was $140ish), folks who buy at this range are a bit more picky. At this price, there's seriously tough competition against esteemed bigboys such as the TRI I3, NM2+, ISN H40, Fiio FH3, TRI Starsea, ThieAudio gear, Shozy Form 1.4, KBEAR BElieve etc just to name a few. By itself, the TRN VX and BA8 aren't that bad, but when compared with a similarly priced competitor, I do find there's better value in these other sets. Not to mention the accessories provided in these 2 TRNs are quite disgraceful for the price (well accessories ain't as important as the sound, but I've honestly seen $30 IEMs with better packaging than the BA8 and VX).

But it's not only TRN though. Their archrival KZ also flopped when attacking the $100ish bracket this year with the ASX, but that set was whacked in reviews for having a too early treble roll off, rather than being too bright.

I agreed with you, until they fix their QC and customer service problem, I would not touch them even with 10 feet pole... for $200 IEM, I will stick with Tri or KB Ear.
 
Jan 17, 2021 at 10:12 PM Post #2,558 of 2,768

backdrifter

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Thanks for the comparisons.

My 2 cents is that TRN didn't do well for the year of 2020, when compared with other CHIFI competitors. Let's ignore the $15000 USD golden TRN, but for TRN VX and BA8, their more expensive sets, they did not get generally good reviews/impressions, in terms of tonality and tuning. TRN VX and BA8 gets an average of 3.5 stars (cummulative reviews) on headfi. No doubt these 2 sets have great technicalities and boast a high driver count, but the issue is that users who buy at this higher price range will want a usable IEM OOTB, without the need to do micropore mods or EQ to "salvage" the stock tuning. I did find both these 2 TRNs very technical, but they were too hot and fatiguing in the upper mids/treble with sibilance in stock form, and the TRN BA8 has a very hollow lower mids. But I guess upper mids/treble tolerances may vary based on hearing health, volume used at (Fletcher Munson curve), plus perhaps pinna gain (ear anatomy), sources used etc. And perhaps some value technicalities over tonality.

If TRN released their usual $30 – 50 USD fare, the expectations will be lower (eg for the TRN V90S), but now that they try to muscle into the $100ish USD pie (TRN VX was $90ish at launch, TRN BA8 was $140ish), folks who buy at this range are a bit more picky. At this price, there's seriously tough competition against esteemed bigboys such as the TRI I3, NM2+, ISN H40, Fiio FH3, TRI Starsea, ThieAudio gear, Shozy Form 1.4, KBEAR BElieve etc just to name a few. By itself, the TRN VX and BA8 aren't that bad, but when compared with a similarly priced competitor, I do find there's better value in these other sets. Not to mention the accessories provided in these 2 TRNs are quite disgraceful for the price (well accessories ain't as important as the sound, but I've honestly seen $30 IEMs with better packaging than the BA8 and VX).

But it's not only TRN though. Their archrival KZ also flopped when attacking the $100ish bracket this year with the ASX, but that set was whacked in reviews for having a too early treble roll off, rather than being too bright.
Since you mentioned the $15K gold model, do you think they used better glue in the nozzle of that one? :smile:

Certainly, you have a better basis of comparison for where the overall market stands. I reviewed the BA8 in comparison to the NM2 and I put in the ER4SR for context here. That's the best I can do for now since I have to pay for what I hear and I don't want to my fiancée to think I'm crazy yet. No doubt, the pricing on the BA8 was off. But the VX has dropped to $56 now and I think it went below $50 on a recent sale, so maybe it's worth another look if someone doesn't mind the EQ. To me, it's well worth it. I think all the models you mentioned are quite a bit more expensive than that (e.g. $195 for the H40, $190 for the 1.4, etc.). And from what I understand, some of them aren't especially resolving (I3, L3), and there is no EQ that can overcome that.

Either way, hopefully the comparison will be useful to somebody.
 
Jan 17, 2021 at 11:17 PM Post #2,559 of 2,768

alamnp

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Since you mentioned the $15K gold model, do you think they used better glue in the nozzle of that one? :smile:

Certainly, you have a better basis of comparison for where the overall market stands. I reviewed the BA8 in comparison to the NM2 and I put in the ER4SR for context here. That's the best I can do for now since I have to pay for what I hear and I don't want to my fiancée to think I'm crazy yet. No doubt, the pricing on the BA8 was off. But the VX has dropped to $56 now and I think it went below $50 on a recent sale, so maybe it's worth another look if someone doesn't mind the EQ. To me, it's well worth it. I think all the models you mentioned are quite a bit more expensive than that (e.g. $195 for the H40, $190 for the 1.4, etc.). And from what I understand, some of them aren't especially resolving (I3, L3), and there is no EQ that can overcome that.

Either way, hopefully the comparison will be useful to somebody.

Believe is $130 with coupons, sounds heavenly and can take EQ like a champ...

Recent Tripowin TC-01 is only $50 and sounds much better than TRN V90S (without EQ-ing)
 
Jan 18, 2021 at 12:48 AM Post #2,560 of 2,768

unifutomaki

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I'm ready to move on from everything that TRN did in 2020 at this point. The only really appealing aspect of the VX and BA8 are the Meze-inspired shell designs. Hopefully their upcoming Z1R-inspired design will fare better from a QC and tuning standpoint.
 
Jan 18, 2021 at 3:00 AM Post #2,561 of 2,768

alamnp

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I'm ready to move on from everything that TRN did in 2020 at this point. The only really appealing aspect of the VX and BA8 are the Meze-inspired shell designs. Hopefully their upcoming Z1R-inspired design will fare better from a QC and tuning standpoint.

yupe, i ended with one faulty V90s with no returns. They asked me to pay $20 extra for replacement of faulty IEM on top of return shipping. Good thing they have $20 sale for V90s after. But then, I ended up hating it... has to be heavily EQed...

I don’t EQ any of my IEM periods... I gave my last TRN away.

i still have their BTRS, but underwhelming for $200 IEM, not enough power. So... those reserved for my flea powered KZ and CCA
 
Jan 18, 2021 at 5:41 AM Post #2,562 of 2,768

backdrifter

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Believe is $130 with coupons, sounds heavenly and can take EQ like a champ...

Recent Tripowin TC-01 is only $50 and sounds much better than TRN V90S (without EQ-ing)
I don't have those coupons. My concern about the Believe is that it's destined to be toxic waste.

Lots of stuff is better than the V90S without EQ. But the EQing was sorta my point.
 
Jan 21, 2021 at 12:11 AM Post #2,564 of 2,768

Mr.HiAudio

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TRN told me, that the TA-1 will be released in February 😊

About pricing, after this Friday they can say more 😉
60 - 65$, i think :)
 
Jan 21, 2021 at 12:56 AM Post #2,565 of 2,768

saldsald

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I don't have those coupons. My concern about the Believe is that it's destined to be toxic waste.

Lots of stuff is better than the V90S without EQ. But the EQing was sorta my point.

The V90s is really good for gothic rock and heavy metal (thou I don't listen to heavy metal) without EQ :L3000:. One of the most interesting IEMs in my collection. Who needs 10 IEMs with the same tuning after all? :gs1000smile:
 
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